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In a statement, Qualcomm said the acquisition will help the company expand "beyond cellular" to new device platforms.
"It is Qualcomm's strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content. This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy into other types of devices," said Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm.
Craig Barratt, Atheros president and CEO, added: "The Atheros team will build upon Qualcomm's strengths and leadership to bolster our customers' ability to deliver innovative and differentiated products in the increasingly connected world."
The transaction is expected to close before June 2011.